Ten-hour meeting will decide fate of Bartam Court apartments
An appeal board will rule on the fate of a proposed 65-apartment complex in Yellowknife after a hearing last week lasting more than 10 hours.
On October 3, Yellowknife residents and developer Milan Mrdjenovich spent almost the entirety of their Saturday in front of the city’s development appeal board to discuss the planned building, which would be built near the intersection of School Draw Avenue and Franklin Avenue.
The Back Bay Community Association, representing residents of the area, submitted notice of appeal against the development in late August. That followed city councillors’ decision to allow permitting to proceed for the development, even though it did not meet the letter of the zoning bylaw.
“The densities are too high, the scale of the building too big, and the city has stretched to the max a lot of its zoning bylaw provisions to get that,” said Dave Jones, the community association’s president, when the appeal was submitted.
A schematic for a new apartment building at Bartam Court, as circulated by the City of Yellowknife to nearby residents.
“The community in that area each had an opportunity to voice their opinions and their concerns, which was good,” said Mrdjenovich of the weekend meeting.
He characterized residents opposing the development as “throwing everything at the wall and hoping something would stick.”
“We’ll see what happens,” said Mrdjenovich. “There were some valid arguments and there were some that were kind-of outlandish. When someone doesn’t want something built, they’ll say anything.
“I hope that the appeal board looks at our point of view as well, and hopefully we can do a nice project down there and finally put that site to rest – because it’s been 26 years we’ve been trying to put something there.”
In an email to Back Bay Community Association residents, Jones said seven appellants presented in addition to the association. One had hired a lawyer, Jones said, to augment their argument against the development.
Jones had not responded to Cabin Radio’s request for an interview by the time of publication.
The development appeal board has 60 days to make a final, binding decision regarding the permitting under which the project may proceed.
The same board recently ordered Mrdjenovich to increase the size of units at a separate development near Yellowknife’s Tin Can Hill, but threw out 10 other appeal grounds advanced by residents near that project.